Resistance isn’t futile: it reduces heart fat

  • Christensen RH & al.
  • JAMA Cardiol
  • 3 Jul 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • In inactive people with abdominal obesity, a 12-week trial of resistance/endurance training led to decreased pericardial and epicardial adiposity.

Why this matters

  • Cardiac fat is a strong candidate risk factor in heart disease, and preventing or reducing its accumulation could be a cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention tool.

Key results

  • Epicardial adiposity decreased by 8 (95% CI, 4-11) g with endurance activity (vs 0 in no-exercise controls).
    • It decreased by 8 (95% CI, 2-13) g with resistance.
  • Endurance training did not significantly reduce pericardial mass, but resistance did, by 31% (95% CI, 16%-47%) vs no-exercise control.
  • VO2 max also improved with endurance and resistance training vs no-exercise control, and left ventricular mass increased in the exercise groups as well.

Study design

  • Secondary analysis of randomized, controlled 12-week trial with 39 participants who engaged in high-intensity interval endurance training (n=14) or resistance training (n=13) (3x/week, 45 minutes each), or no exercise (n=12).
  • Outcomes: included epicardial, pericardial adiposity on MRI.
  • Funding: TrygFonden. 

Limitations

  • Several dropouts, small groups, secondary analysis.

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